Saturday, May 9, 2009

Library Book 130 Years Past Due is Returned

While taking the newspapers to the recycling bin, I ran across an interesting story involving an old, overdue Hanover College Library book. I can't find the story on-line any more, but here it is:

Some librarians might see this as wining the Powerball of overdue fines: A missing volume of Shakespeare's works was returned to the library at Hanover College - after 130 years.

The fine would have topped $13,000.

The book was returned by Thomas E. Engle whose ancestor graduated from the private college outside Madison in 1880. According to the Madison Courier, Engel was paring his collection when he came across the book, with the library card still tucked inside.

The New York attorney sent a check for $500 along with the book, and the college is happy with that.

The campus librarian believes the book may have been published in 1800, but a missing title page makes confirmation impossible.
What makes this story even more interesting to me is that I spent my first year of college at Hanover College, starting my freshman class with Woody Harrelson of Cheers fame. There may also be the possibility that I have a library book or two still "checked out" from the Hanover College library. I figure I'll put a note in the books that they are to be returned in the year 2111. I want to beat the 130 year old record.

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